Jewelry Designer, Stephanie Kantis creates a distinctive jewelry line with a fresh approach to style. Her pieces are intricately bench-made by hand, sculpted out of bronze and then dipped in 24k gold, as it has been done by jewelry artisans for over a century in European countries.
Stephanie describes her collection as Queen Elizabeth meets Chanel! All of her pieces are like miniature sculptures. Kantis also creates the most amazing pendants that easily slip on and off of her bracelets & chains. All pendants are made of semi- precious stones, which express beauty so that her jewels look amazing on all women.
Bold, Smart and VERSATILE.
Q. How did you decide to transition from a successful Interior Design Company to jewelry design?
A. I think my ah ha moment was when women were stopping me and offering to purchase my jewelry pieces right off of me. I had been an interior designer in Dallas TX for 20 years. I was ready for a change and honestly couldn’t handle another Dallas summer. My husband and I decided to move to the hills of Guanajuato, Mexico for a summer (which turned into almost 2 years), to get away. That is where I was inspired to start taking sculpture and jewelry making classes. I would go back to work in my interior design boutique, in Highland Park Village in Dallas, once a month. At that time, I would be wearing my jewelry designs while visiting and that is when my pieces were selling right off of me! So to make room in my store, I put sofas and other furniture on sale …and moved in more of my jewelry pieces which became the best sellers!
Q. Did your sculpture classes influence your jewelry designs?
A. While I was taking sculpture classes, the teacher noticed that all of my sculptures were so much smaller than the other students. He suggested that I take a jewelry class. My pendants, actually started out as bronze sculptural paper weight gifts for my interior design clients! Then I realized I could dip them in 24k gold, add semiprecious stones and put a hooks on the backs of them to wear them as pendants, attaching them onto onto suede cords, which eventually resulted in designing my 15 way Chains.
Q. How has your passion for architectural elements and travel come together to influence the creation of the chain necklace that can be worn more than 15 different ways?
A. Architecture is one of my passions and my husband and I love to explore Europe! I have found inspiration for my jewelry pieces in gorgeous rod iron gates around a castle or even an intricate door. While traveling, I found it challenging to bring jewelry that I loved and not worry if If left it in my hotel room. And at the same time, I didn’t want to bring different jewelry for every outfit. I designed my chains to be versatile, and be able to mix and match pendants (and then designed and made my bracelets so you can now add them into the chains as well) to change my look every day and night. They are my serious go-to pieces for travel as well as for wearing daytime at the office right into an after hours cocktail party on Palm Beach island!
Q. When you are not designing, are you involved in any philanthropic endeavors?
A. I am honored to be a co-chair of the KidSanctuary 2nd annual Haute HoeDown. This charity is so important to our community and truly helps improve children’s lives! The Haute HoeDown is on March 22nd in West Palm Beach. They are building another home for housing foster children from 8-18, and it is a age haven of permanent placement so these children don’t end up living a childhood of moving form foster care home to foster care home.
Q. Why was a trip to Mexico the turning point in your life?
A. It was the first time that I had done something only for me. My life had always been about achieving and making my business grow. This is the first time I stopped to get back into the love of art. I made time to create, design and really enjoy the little things in life. The Spanish Colonial Village, in which we lived, was like going back into a quieter more quality way of life. I started to stop to smell the flowers, work with my hands, learn another language, and see how another culture lives. The relaxed life’s style and amazing weather and sunsets overlooking mountains every night, really have me thinking time to reflect and to be grateful for all that I had.
Q. What can we expect from the fabulous Stephanie Kantis this 2014?
A. My pendants are the “leading role” stars with my fashion jewelry in the Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue department stores right now, (I have been told that everyone’s starting their own “personal collections” of them for their wardrobe go-to’s this spring). For which I am so honored and excited! This year I also have some really exciting projects in the works!…Stay tuned!
STEPHANIE KANTIS – “15 + WAYS” CHAINS
My personal favorite of her pieces is the very versatile “15 + WAYS” CHAINS. Chains can be worn 15 or more different ways due to her signature “S” claps. A “15 + WAYS” CHAINS guidebook comes with each purchase and highlights the versatility of the chains. Wear them long, as a choker, lariat, necktie and even a belt! You can also add pendants and bracelets for an even more interesting result!
I’m proud to say I’ve found a “16th Romi’s Way” use for the chain. (See the image below) I bought this skin clutch in Buenos Aires over 15 years ago and couldn’t help but to add Stephanie’s chain converting my evening clutch into the perfect “ladies who lunch” bag. In short, from one chain you get a multiplicity of uses, which now includes the ability to go from day to evening with the perfect accessory.
This may just be the perfect travel piece! I’ll let you know how it works out for me as I plan to take my “15 + WAYS” CHAINS & clutch on my trip next week to Punta Cana. It feels good to know that I can take this one amazing piece and get so muuch use out of it.
For more information on Stephanie Kantis, please click HERE